Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Malaysia desperate for win in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

IPOH: Two matches, two losses.

Malaysia hockey team goalkeeper S. Kumar attempts to stop Australia from scoring during their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup match in Ipoh on Tuesday. Australia won 3-2. - SAIFUL BAHRI/ The STAR
Malaysia hockey team goalkeeper S. Kumar attempts to stop Australia from scoring during their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup match in Ipoh on Tuesday. Australia won 3-2. - SAIFUL BAHRI/ The STAR

Malaysia are desperate for a win when they take on India in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament at the Azlan Shah Stadium on Wednesday.

Coach Tai Beng Hai’s team are fifth in the standings of the six-nation tournament. Malaysia started off dismally, losing 4-2 to New Zealand in their opening match on Sunday. They put up a much better performance against world champions Australia, but let their guard down to lost 3-2 on Monday.

Beng Hai has called on his players to be more consistent, which has been a bane in recent years.
“We want to beat India and we stand a good chance if the players can reproduce the form they showed against Australia.

“It was a good effort all round, but we lost out because we could not sustain the pressure. We have to make sure we fight until the end. That’s what we need to strive for,” he said.
Like Malaysia, India have yet to win a match. The Asian Games gold medallists drew 2-2 with South Korea and then went down 2-1 to New Zealand.

Said Beng Hai: “India have an experienced line-up. They play a typical Asian style but with new Dutch coach Paul van Ass in charge, they are slowly changing their system of play.

“Like us, they will also be playing in Belgium (in the Olympic-qualifying World Hockey League Semi-Finals in June) and this will be a good test against them.

“We have a good knowledge of their players, but that does not mean we can beat them. We need to up our game and make sure we cut down our errors. We must also take the opportunities that come our way.”



 by S. Ramaguru - The Star

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